In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously.
President Kimball has asked that I now read this letter:
“June 8, 1978
“To all general and local priesthood officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world:
“As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.
“Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.
“He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.
“We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.
Recognizing Spencer W. Kimball as a prophet, seer, and revelator, and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is proposed that we as a constituent assembly accept this revelation as the word and will of the Lord. All in favor please signify by raising your right hand. Any opposed by the same sign.
President Kimball, it appears that the vote has been unanimous in the affirmative, and the motion has carried.
Before I present the General Authorities and officers to the conference for vote, President Kimball has asked me to make the following statement:
The very rapid growth of the Church across the world, with the attendant increase in travel and responsibility, has made it necessary to consider a change in the status for some of the Brethren of the General Authorities. Some of our associates have served for many years with complete and unselfish dedication, and they deserve every honor and recognition for such devoted service. It is felt advisable at this time to reduce somewhat the load of responsibility that they carry.
After a long period of prayerful consideration and counsel, extending, indeed, over several years, we announce a new and specific status to be given from time to time to Brethren of our associates in the General Authorities. We announce that some Brethren have been designated as emeritus members of the First Quorum of the Seventy. These Brethren are not being released but will be excused from active service. It is out of consideration for the personal well-being of the individuals, and with deep appreciation for their devoted service, that this designation will be given from time to time to designated members of the General Authorities.
I will now present the General Authorities, general officers, and general auxiliary officers of the Church for the sustaining vote of the conference.
It is proposed that we sustain President Spencer W. Kimball as prophet, seer, and revelator, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All in favor, please make it manifest. Contrary, if there be any, by the same sign.
Nathan Eldon Tanner as first counselor in the First Presidency and Marion G. Romney as second counselor in the First Presidency. All in favor, please signify. Those opposed by the same sign.
It is proposed that we sustain as president of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Ezra Taft Benson. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary, if there be any, by the same sign.
As the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Petersen, LeGrand Richards, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton, Bruce R. McConkie, L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight, and James E. Faust. All in favor, please manifest it. Those opposed by the same sign.
As Patriarch to the Church, Elder Eldred G. Smith. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary by the same sign.
The counselors in the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, and the Patriarch to the Church as prophets, seers, and revelators. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary by the same sign.
Spencer W. Kimball as trustee-in-trust for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All in favor, please manifest it. Opposed by the same sign.
As the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and as members of the First Quorum of the Seventy: Franklin D. Richards, J. Thomas Fyans, A. Theodore Tuttle, Neal A. Maxwell, Marion D. Hanks, Paul H. Dunn, and W. Grant Bangerter. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary by the same sign.
As additional members of the First Quorum of the Seventy: Theodore M. Burton, Bernard P. Brockbank, Robert L. Simpson, O. Leslie Stone, Robert D. Hales, Adney Y. Komatsu, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Hartman Rector, Jr., Loren C. Dunn, Rex D. Pinegar, Gene R. Cook, Charles A. Didier, William R. Bradford, George P. Lee, Carlos E. Asay, M. Russell Ballard, Jr., John H. Groberg, Jacob de Jager, Vaughn J. Featherstone, Dean L. Larsen, Royden G. Derrick, Robert E. Wells, G. Homer Durham, James M. Paramore, Richard G. Scott, Hugh W. Pinnock, F. Enzio Busche, Yoshihiko Kikuchi, Ronald E. Poelman, Derek A. Cuthbert, Robert L. Backman, Rex C. Reeve, Sr., F. Burton Howard, Teddy E. Brewerton, and Jack H Goaslind, Jr. As emeritus members of the First Quorum of the Seventy: Sterling W. Sill, Henry D. Taylor, James A. Cullimore, Joseph Anderson, William H. Bennett, John H. Vandenberg, and S. Dilworth Young. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary, if any, by the same sign.
As the Presiding Bishopric: Victor L. Brown, Presiding Bishop; H. Burke Peterson, first counselor; and J. Richard Clarke, second counselor. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary, if there be any, by the same sign.
As Regional Representatives: All Regional Representatives as they are at present constituted.
The Relief Society: Barbara Bradshaw Smith, president; Janath Russell Cannon, first counselor; and Marian Richards Boyer, second counselor; with all members of the board as at present constituted.
The Sunday School: Russell M. Nelson, president; Joe J. Christensen, first counselor; William D. Oswald, second counselor; with all members of the board as at present constituted.
The Young Men: Neil D. Schaerrer, president; Graham W. Doxey, first counselor; and Quinn G. McKay, second counselor; with all members of the board as at present constituted.
The Young Women: Elaine A. Cannon, president; Arlene B. Darger, first counselor; and Norma B. Smith, second counselor; with all members of the board as at present constituted.
The Primary Association: Naomi Maxfield Shumway, president; Colleen Bushman Lemmon, first counselor; and Dorthea Lou Christiansen Murdock, second counselor; with all members of the board as at present constituted.
All in favor, please manifest it. Those opposed by the same sign.
The Church Board of Education: Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney, Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton, Neal A. Maxwell, Marion D. Hanks, Victor L. Brown, and Barbara B. Smith. All in favor, please manifest it. Contrary by the same sign.
The Church Finance Committee: Wilford G. Edling, Harold H. Bennett, Weston E. Hamilton, David M. Kennedy, and Warren E. Pugh.
The Tabernacle Choir: Oakley S. Evans, president; Jerold D. Ottley, conductor; Donald H. Ripplinger, associate conductor; Robert Cundick, Roy M. Darley, and John Longhurst, Tabernacle organists.
All in favor, please manifest it. Those opposed by the same sign.
It seems, President Kimball, that the voting has been unanimous in favor of these officers and General Authorities.